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Why are some species named differently

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by adrian1963, 13 Sep 2015.

  1. adrian1963

    adrian1963 Well-Known Member

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    Please can someone on here please explain as to why so many collections (especially the big ones) have to name the same bird species differently for example Fulvous tree duck or fulvous whistling duck another one was Eurasian Black Vulture or European Black Vulture or Monk Vulture or Cinereous Vulture I am just using these as examples as there are many, many more out there.

    I will not name the collections involved but I think most will now which ones anyway.

    I have seen collections have multiple displays of the same species and yet the signage states two or three in some cases different names.

    I know there are common names and some not so common but to the average zoo goer they would take this as being different species of birds yet they are the same, so why don’t collections keep to one name for the same species?

    I have highlighted Birds species because these are what I am interested in but have noticed the same thing with signage on all the other groups of species.
     
    Last edited: 13 Sep 2015
  2. Maguari

    Maguari Never could get the hang of Thursdays. Premium Member

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    Some animals just have multiple names, I'm afraid. Like how a lift is also an elevator depending on where you come from, or a hoover is a vacuum cleaner depending on your susceptibility to brand marketing!

    Birds don't have the worst of it - bear in mind the poor old Puma/Cougar/Mountain Lion/Painter/Panther/etc/etc...

    The reason they don't settle on one is that in the overwhelming majority of cases there's no 'right' answer. Even the names used in standard checklists are only the preferred choice of their authors, and there's no reason another name couldn't be used. I strongly suspect that the average zoo visitor doesn't really care if the vulture they're looking at is the same one they've seen previously at another zoo.

    The only thing to do is to become familiar with the synonyms - and ideally the scientific names, which are not immutable either but will tend to be more consistent than common names.
     
  3. Shorts

    Shorts Well-Known Member

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    Seriously? Please "name and shame". Whilst I know different collections use different names I can't recall the same collection using two (or three:eek:) different names.

    Back to you original question, it's human nature to have variances in language or names -classic example is bread rolls, variously called rolls, cobs, batches, stotties or barm cakes depending on who you're talking too and/or which part of the country you're in. It's no different with animals.

    It's a little annoying but there is a "work around" -scientific names!
     
  4. adrian1963

    adrian1963 Well-Known Member

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    Rolls. Cobs. Batches, Stotties or Barn cakes are actually different things but made of the same stuff.

    As I have said I will not name collections as that is not the point of this thread.

    Thank you Maguari for the info as all asked was for someone to explain the reasoning and not make unwanted comments again.
     
  5. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    This only highlights the questionable utility of common names. There are no conventions on common names: each locality,and often each neighborhood has created their own names for animals and plant.
    That is precisely why scientific nomenclature came about -- to create one name that all could accept as describing one taxon. A biologist in Essex can talk to a biologist in Taipei about a bird using the scientific name and be assured that they were both discussing the same creature.
    You have hit on the very problem that has been around as long as people have named anything and scientific nomenclature has been an effort to resolve the issue.
     
  6. Maguari

    Maguari Never could get the hang of Thursdays. Premium Member

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    Not always - if you order a bread roll in Derbyshire you'd expect a small roll; you'd ask for a cob or a bap for a big one. Up the road in South Yorkshire, a roll would always be the big one and the smaller ones are called bread cakes.

    Equally, if you go into a fish and chip shop here and order a fishcake, you're given a mix of minced white fish and mashed potato in breadcrumbs. In Yorkshire, you get rough chopped or sliced fish and potato in batter if you ask for a fishcake - to get what is known elsewhere as a fishcake, you'd have to order a rissole.

    The same then applies to the animal names - one man's lapwing is another man's peewit. But they both refer to Vanellus vanellus, so if you know, or are able to look up, that name, you'll spot they're the same thing.

    That's no help in a Yorkshire chippie, though..! :D
     
  7. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    Theoretically true - but in practice pronunciation of scientific names is so variable that it can be necessary to write them down. This is particularly true now that many new and revised names are based on languages other than classical Latin and Greek. I always use Tahuantinsuyoa macantzatza as an example, I'm not sure that a biologist from Billericay would say it in a way that was comprehensible to one from Chelmsford (and I lived in Essex for several years :) although I have never talked to anyone from Taiwan, as far as I know).

    Alan
     
  8. Pootle

    Pootle Well-Known Member

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    It's just the variance of languages, regional words and phrases in communities tend to stick as they do with everything from bread rolls and co to birds names etc..

    A very large bread roll/cob/bap etc in Wigan for example is known as a bin lid!...imagine me in another part of the UK asking for ham salad on a bin lid ..:eek:

    Some birds have and are only known by me name such as the Norweigan Blue Parrot for example (lovely plumage I must say it has).
     
  9. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    I was giving a tour of a botanic garden to colleagues from China (most of whom spoke no English). Suddenly they got excited, pointing at a large old tree and shouting something. It took a moment for me to realize that they were saying "Gingko" because the used a soft g while I use a hard g. But still, there was no talk of "Is a Maidenhair Tree" the same as a "Fan leaf tree?"
     
  10. adrian1963

    adrian1963 Well-Known Member

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    oop's started something again just to stop all the excitement bread is bread now that should stop it (I hope)

    On the main point many thanks folks for the replies I think I now understand why.

    As it always been the same world wide like in the old days were species all known as one or were they all different where ever people went.
     
  11. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Local names for birds can sometimes lead to some confusion. I believe in the North of England the Tree Pipit is often referred to as 'Wood Lark', as against another species, the genuine Woodlark (Lullula arborea).
     
  12. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    I can tell you that for plants, names were so different even in classical Greek and Roman times (talking about a big wide spread Empire there) that physicians didn't know what plants foreign physicians were writing about.

    http://rbedrosian.com/Gardens/Green_1927_Plant_Nomenclature.pdf
     
  13. adrian1963

    adrian1963 Well-Known Member

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    I think I will start making a note or taking photographs of the scientific names more from now on.

    Anyone got any good links to sites that give this sort of info out on all types of animal species.
     
  14. adrian1963

    adrian1963 Well-Known Member

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    instead of starting a new thread I thought I would continue on this thread.

    Could anyone please help me out with finding web pages with a list of scientific names for ALL animals species, they can be different ones for Birds, Reptiles, Aquatic species, Primates, Amphibians & Mammals any kind of help would be very useful.
     
  15. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    I think Home | Catalogue of Life would be your best bet for something like that.
    It even includes plants, fungi and micro-organisms, as well as animals.
     
  16. robmv

    robmv Well-Known Member Premium Member

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  17. adrian1963

    adrian1963 Well-Known Member

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    Many thanks for the help folks
     
  18. Maguari

    Maguari Never could get the hang of Thursdays. Premium Member

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  19. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely (and one or two of the photos ain't too shabby either ;))

    Alan
     
  20. adrian1963

    adrian1963 Well-Known Member

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    Many thanks for the fish info will have a look when the web site is up and running as it is down at the moment.